Meal Plan and PrepPosted: September 21, 2012
I’m the kind of person who always wants a plan for everything. I’m uncomfortable with uncertainty, and I thrive on a structured schedule. So you can imagine that my food habits are a part of this as well. I find that I eat much better food if I go into the week with a fairly rigid plan. I hope to make meal plan posts a weekly feature on this site.
I do my grocery shopping on Thursdays or Fridays. I have plenty of time to do it on the weekend, but I prefer to relax and not fight the crowds at the store on Saturday mornings. For the last few months I’ve also received my CSA (communty supported agriculture) share on Thursdays, making it easy to stop at the store after I get my veggies from the farm.
I plan my meals for the week on Wednesday or Thursday, after the supermarket specials are posted. I like to scour the ads to see what meats are on special so I can plan accordingly. I have a limited budget, and I am unable to always buy the highest quality of meats. Be excited for a forthcoming post addressing how I deal with eating Real Food on a budget, and how I prioritze. I find that by planning, especially around the sales, really helps keep my grocery bill in check.
Here is my dinner plan for this coming week, September 21 – 27
Friday: Deconstructed Pizza
I brown Ground beef with onions and garlic and season with Italian spices. Then I add some pizza sauce (watch the labels!). I sauté some other veggies such as bell peppers and mushrooms in a separate pan. Then I serve in bowls with the veggies on top of the meat. Dillon likes to top his with shredded cheese.
Saturday : Date Night out with the husband
It’s our 7 year dating anniversary! For our more informal anniversay, we like to go out for burgers or something. Just fun and casual. I can’t wait!
Sunday: Roasted Chicken with Carrots, Potatoes, and Onions
I got a huge free-range chicken from a friend while I was at home with my family. He raised and butchered it himself! I can’t wait to make it, and the make a stock from the bones. I think I’ll season it up and roast it with some carrots and potatoes, but we’ll see what I have on hand.
Monday: Mug Club Okotberfest Party at Granite City
Tis the season for Oktoberfest! We’re going to go enjoy some free food from our favorite restaurant. And possibly have a yummy fall brew
Tuesday: Slow-Cooker Salsa Roast
This is one of my favorite recipes. All I do is season a roast with a taco spice blend (I like this one), put it in the slow-cooker, and top with 24 oz of salsa, 1/2 an onion, a can of chopped jalepenos, and a can of diced green chiles. Cook for 8-10 hours on low and eat! I like to have it over lettuce and topped with avocado, or it’s awesome just on it’s own. Slow-cooker meals are awesome because I can just prep it the night before and then Dillon can turn it on mid-morning.
Wednesday: Stew Meat with Cabbage
I also make a plan of the items I need to prep for the week. I do most of my food prep on Sundays. Here’s what I need to do this week:
The prep changes quite a bit each week. This week I have quite a bit to do since it’s been a couple weeks since I’ve made sauces. I’ll make the burger patties and chicken so we always have some protein on hand to snack on or for quick breakfasts and lunches. I’m also making some muffins because it’s fall now, and I really want a pumpkin-y treat! I’m going to play around with the recipe a bit and hopefully have a good one to share with you.
I try to think a head to what we will have for breakfasts and lunches when I’m doing my planning as well. Usually lunches are just leftovers from dinner, but that doesn’t always work out. This week I’m making the burgers to pair with eggs and some greens for breakfast. Dillon frequently makes himself bacon for breakfast in the morning, so I always have some of that on hand. I almost always make chicken breasts or thighs each week because they are super easy to pair with some lettuce or other veggies for salad. I’ve especially loved making chicken salad with my mayo, cabbage, and onion recently for lunches.
To keep the menu straight, Dillon and I share a calendar application on our Apple devices. I add the meals for the week, and that way he knows when he should wait for me to have dinner or if he’s on his own. Our schedules are kind of contrasting somedays, so this helps a lot.
I find my weeks go much more smoothly when planned out like this. Of course life happens and sometimes things shift around a bit, but we usually stick pretty dang close to our plan which saves us money and time.
What about you? Do you try to make a plan or are you more of a “fly by the seat of your pants” kind of person? I kind of envy people who can be more spontaneous